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May 16

You don’t think you need insurance until…

broken legThis post isn’t really a, “fun” one to write, but it’s one that comes from my heart. Thankfully not all of these situations happened to me, but they have happened to close friends and family and so they hit pretty, “close to home” for me. Unfortunately it sometimes takes a major life event, or a very difficult situation for us to come to our senses and get our lives in order.

Since Eric and I got engaged, I’ve been thinking a lot about our future and making sure that all of our, “business” is in order. We’ve been living together for a while now, but our finances are mostly separate. I pay my bills, he pays his bills and together we pay our house payment etc. (well technically he pays the bill, but I save my, “share” of the mortgage in a savings account for him).

Now that we’re on the verge of combining our lives financially, I’ve been thinking about worse case scenarios (romantic, right?) and trying to make sure that we’d both be OK if, god forbid, anything happened to either of us. Let’s face it, nobody wants to to think about worse case scenarios, but I’ve always been of the opinion that you should plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Here are some real life, “oh shit” moments where insurance was well worth (or would have been well worth) the premiums paid:

Your house catches on fire.
Two Christmases ago, Eric and I came home to a house filled with smoke. Our furnace had malfunctioned and caught on fire. Thankfully the fire smoldered in the furnace and didn’t spread to our walls (which could have burned our whole building down-scary!) and the damage was very minimal. We had to replace the furnace and our furniture smelled like a BBQ pit for a long time, but since we had homeowner’s insurance, we never had to worry that we wouldn’t have a place to live.

You get a UTI and your insurance just lapsed.
Ask my poor sister about this one! She had a horrible Urinary Tract Infection shortly after her university insurance plan lapsed and before her full-time job insurance policy became effective. She thought she could, “tough it out” and drink enough cranberry juice to make the infection go away. Sadly she couldn’t, and she ended up in the ER, not once, but twice! The first round of antibiotics the doctor gave her weren’t strong enough and she ended up in the ER a second time (feeling much worse!). Lesson learned here: never go without health insurance and if you can purchase an, “in-between” health insurance policy, do it! It’s pretty much Murphy’s law that the 1 week of time you’re not covered by health insurance, you’ll get hit by a bus.

You crack the diamond in your engagement ring.
When I first got engaged a friend and co-worker asked me if I’d insured my ring yet. I sort of chuckled because I thought she was joking (do people really insure their engagement rings? Yes they do!). That’s when she told that she was riding on the subway on the way to work one morning when she accidentally hit her ring against one of the handrails. She didn’t think anything of it until she looked down at her hand when she got to work and the vintage diamond in her engagement ring was cracked. Sadly it was a family heirloom passed down to her from her husband’s grandmother. Fortunately, her fiance had insured the ring and the replacement stone was covered in full by their insurance. She felt terrible that she damaged the stone, but relieved that they didn’t have to spend a fortune replacing the stone so his family wouldn’t notice (the stone is quite large and they wouldn’t have been able to replace it without the insurance).

Your significant other is diagnosed with a terminal illness.
Sadly, we found out that my uncle had terminal cancer a few weeks before he passed. Nobody knew he was sick and certainly nobody thought he would pass so quickly and so young. He and his wife were quite frugal and didn’t want to, “waste” their money on life insurance. They figured they would never need the insurance and thought it was morbid to think about one of them dying. Of course they were correct that many people never have to use life insurance (thank god!). But if you happen to be the unfortunate person who does need the insurance money to survive, you’d certainly reconsider your decision to save money on life insurance, (by not paying for it!) Instead, you’d be thankful you paid for the coverage and don’t have to worry about replacing your spouse’s income while you’re still grieving.

Have you ever had a situation where you were thankful for having insurance? Ever had a situation where you wish you had insurance, but didn’t?

Image: Itzafineday

10 comments

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  1. Michelle

    Having insurance is so important! I like the peace of mind and knowing that I am covered in case something happens.

    1. KK

      Me too. I know not everyone thinks insurance is, “worth it” but everyone I know who’s had to file a major claim or had a major injury or illness, has said how thankful they are that they were covered.

  2. anna

    Omg I am insanely behind… congrats on you engagement!!! So incredibly happy for you. 🙂

    1. KK

      Thanks Anna 🙂 No worries on being behind, I’m horribly behind on my blog reading and commenting too.

  3. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank

    I didn’t wait for any bad accidents to happen first before I got insurance for family. It’s better be prepared than not, KK.

    1. KK

      So much better to be prepared. I think having a family is a really good reason to make sure your insurance covers you. We don’t have kids yet, but when we do we’ll definitely increase our coverages even more to make sure they are protected.

  4. Maarten van Lier

    Fair warning about medical insurance (found this out the hard way), even when you have medical coverage through employment you’re not out of the water when it comes to grave illnesses (like cancer). I worked for 17 years for a large software company with what I thought was all the coverage I needed. Since then I’ve seen two colleagues get (and succumb to) cancer for whom we had to go on gofundme.com to support them and their families.

    There is so much that isn’t covered (like the $1000 nausea pills needed after chemo). One colleague already passed away and the second has leukemia and is trying to hang in there for 4 more years to see his youngest son graduate from highschool. Both ran out of money and both were insured (and making handsome 6 figure salaries).

    Besides insurance prepare yourself with a healthy emergency fund/nestegg (not the one that will last you 4 months)

    I know debbie downer here.

  5. NZ Muse

    Oh god yes, learned the hard way about every type of insurance – contents, car, income, disability. GET IT BEFORE YOU NEED IT.

  6. Millennial Money

    Part of growing into maturity is accepting that you have responsibilities for other people. Getting started young on insurance plans, especially life insurance, is absolutely necessary when you have the means.

  7. Dominique

    Insurance is a necessary safety net. Just in case things don’t go as expected, you’ll have something to fall back on. Great post!

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